Dr. Lieu on HER2-Directed Therapy in CRC

Christopher Lieu, MD
Published: Thursday, Jun 13, 2019



Christopher Lieu, MD, director, GI Medical Oncology Program and deputy associated director for clinical research, at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, discusses HER2-directed therapy for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).

HER2 is a gene that is well-known in breast cancer, for which there are many targeted therapies on the market. Additionally, there are data with this gene in gastric cancer that is now starting to be collected in CRC, says Lieu. However, the use of HER2-directed therapy for patients with HER2-amplified CRC is still in early stages of research. Early data suggest that patients who have HER2-amplified CRC may not receive any benefit from anti-EGFR therapy. Therefore, there are ongoing studies looking at the addition of anti-HER2 therapy in patients with refractory metastatic CRC (mCRC).

Specifically, the ongoing SWOG 1613 trial is looking at the combination of trastuzumab (Herceptin) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) in patients who had previously received treatment for HER2-amplified mCRC. It is important that providers are aware that such a clinical trial is available, says Lieu. Notably, the trial does allow patients to crossover, therefore patients will have the opportunity to be exposed to the experimental treatment.
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Christopher Lieu, MD, director, GI Medical Oncology Program and deputy associated director for clinical research, at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, discusses HER2-directed therapy for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).

HER2 is a gene that is well-known in breast cancer, for which there are many targeted therapies on the market. Additionally, there are data with this gene in gastric cancer that is now starting to be collected in CRC, says Lieu. However, the use of HER2-directed therapy for patients with HER2-amplified CRC is still in early stages of research. Early data suggest that patients who have HER2-amplified CRC may not receive any benefit from anti-EGFR therapy. Therefore, there are ongoing studies looking at the addition of anti-HER2 therapy in patients with refractory metastatic CRC (mCRC).

Specifically, the ongoing SWOG 1613 trial is looking at the combination of trastuzumab (Herceptin) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) in patients who had previously received treatment for HER2-amplified mCRC. It is important that providers are aware that such a clinical trial is available, says Lieu. Notably, the trial does allow patients to crossover, therefore patients will have the opportunity to be exposed to the experimental treatment.

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